It’s that time again for another installment of the big holiday party at “The Office“, a time-honored theme that has produced lots of laughs for the series over the years. The first post-Michael Scott holiday party was just as goofy and funny as previous holiday-themed episodes. Perhaps not as legendary as “A Benihana Christmas” from season three, but still darn entertaining.

Check below for the complete review…

The Players:

  • Director: Ed Helms
  • Writers: Mindy Kaling
  • Cast: Rainn Wilson, James Spader, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Angela Kinsey, Paul Lieberstein, Oscar Nuñez, Craig Robinson, Phyllis Smith

Episode: “Christmas Wishes”

Andy tries to make this year’s Christmas the best ever by granting each person’s holiday wishes – and we finally get to meet the girlfriend. Meanwhile, Robert California tries to drown his sorrows at the office party, as does Erin, who is bummed out by Andy and his girlfriend.

The Good:

  • “Jessica”: We finally get to meet Andy’s super-serious girlfriend, Jessica, who is attractive and smart and dresses nice. Not sure if we’ll ever see her again, but I do not get the impression she and Andy are having passionately love-making. I know Andy was preoccupied with drunk Erin, but sparks between he and Jessica? I say not so much.
  • “Speaking of Drunk Erin….”: Ellie Kemper was on her A-game as the drunk and jealous Erin. Her dancing was funny, her doing shots was funny, her interaction with Jessica and Andy was funny, and overall she was the star of the episode. I also thought Andy had a good showing. I have been tough on him lately, but I thought it might have been Andy’s best episode thus far in season eight.
  • ‘My ex is meeting my sex’: Andy’s succinct description of Jessica meeting Erin for the first time is so damn funny. And I must admit I had never heard such a line before.
  • R. California: Bummed out and on no sex for 10 days Robert California is just as funny as ever! And toss in large amounts of booze to dull the pain and it’s a really good time. We find out Robert is thrice married and now almost thrice divorced, so cocktails are indeed in order. I found his moments with Erin at the end were played rather nicely. It felt real.
  • Mean Kelly: Wow – that was fast and brutal. She destroys Jessica with only a question.
  • Xmas Jams: Dwight brings the noise and rocks out to some powerful, Christmas music. That was great, plus the gifts montage around the office was well-done.
  • ‘Shut Your Drunk Hole’: Andy said this to Meredith, and it was awesome!

The Bad (but not that bad):

  • Jim-Dwight: Both characters I love, but I wasn’t jazzed with their storyline at all. However, Jim wearing a Santa hat and sipping a glass of whiskey at the end was fantastic.
  • Darryl-Val: There’s a chance I am being too harsh, but I just didn’t care about Darryl’s play for Val. I do like how she shows up over-dressed, and I like even more Darryl throwing on a tux to make her feel better, but I just am not feeling the storyline.


It might have been slow in spots, but overall “Christmas Wishes” produced a jolly good time, courtesy a strong script – Mindy Kaling nabbed the ‘written by’ credit – and a fine showing by the ensemble. Oh, and Ed Helms directed. Kevin and Oscar has me laughing out loud, and the Stanley-does-Lewis-Black cold open was terrific.

If you think of the best holiday party episodes in ‘Office’ history – “Christmas Party” from season two, and the above-mentioned “A Benihana Christmas” from season three are my personal favorites – the season eight offering was not that far behind in terms of laughs. It lacked here and there, but the tension between Erin and Andy, plus the funny dialogue coming from Kevin and Oscar and Dwight really propelled the episode.

“Christmas Wishes” is a fine addition to list of holiday episodes of “The Office.”

Rating: 8/10

“The Office” airs on NBC at 9pm (ET/PT) on Thursday nights.

What did you think of last night’s episode?